“Come, child, eat some more. These vegetables were all personally grown by me! They’re very fresh.” Mrs. Long affectionately used her chopsticks to take bits of every dish she had made. She rarely had visitors, so she was very excited by Long Chen and Dong Mingyu’s arrival.
With each dish, she explained what vegetables had gone into it and how she had cultivated them. What made Long Chen the most speechless was that his mother had even started raising her own chickens, ducks, and pigs. Everything on the table had been grown by her.
“Mom, this is the Wine God Palace, a sacred place. It’s… it’s not very suitable for you to raise these.” Long Chen felt a bit bitter. Raising livestock within the Wine God Palace didn’t seem to suit its nature.
“What’s not suitable about it? Even the great High Priest comes every month to eat a meal with us. He constantly praises my cooking. The High Priest even said something about the Dao…” Mrs. Long couldn’t quite recall what it was.
“It was that the Dao is hidden within life. It means that many Daos within this world are hidden in plain sight around us. We need to experience all aspects of life to comprehend them.” Long Tianxiao walked in, holding two jugs. “Here, have a taste of my new wine.”
One of those jugs contained something known as the Hundred Flower Berry Wine. It was specifically made by Long Tianxiao for Mrs. Long and Long Xiaoyu.
In the past, Mrs. Long had complained a great deal about Long Tianxiao’s enthusiasm for alcohol. To stop her nagging, Long Tianxiao had come up with this Hundred Flower Berry Wine that could nourish the body and improve the complexion. Most importantly, the flavor was particularly good.
After drinking it a few times, Mrs. Long found herself looking younger and came to love the wine, and as a result, her complaining ceased.
Now, Long Tianxiao spent all day making wine, while Mrs. Long spent all day in the garden, and Long Xiaoyu was sent to the Grand Xia’s schools. They were all doing their part. Their days were all simple but happy.
“Little Yu, you should try out your uncle’s craftsmanship.” Long Tianxiao poured some wine into Dong Mingyu’s cup. Long Xiaoyu was delighted because this was the only wine she was allowed to drink, and she didn’t get to drink it often.
“Little big sister, what’s wrong?” Long Xiaoyu suddenly noticed that Dong Mingyu was crying.
“I… I’m fine. Thank you…” Dong Mingyu had never experienced the warmth of a family. In her recollection, her father and mother had never even smiled at her. They had only harshly criticized her when she failed to live up to their expectations. There was also an icy whip.
The slightest slacking during her training would result in her mother’s whip splitting her skin. As for her father, she didn’t recall him ever speaking to her.
It was like they didn’t view her as a child but a tool. Or perhaps she was simply a chip to improve their lot with the Killing God.
At first, Dong Mingyu didn't feel that this was odd. That was because the entire Bloodkill Hall was like this. There were no emotions to speak of.
However, upon encountering Long Chen, her life had started to change. For the first time, she saw someone that could pity an enemy who harmed them, someone who endured the pain of being stabbed in the heart yet refused to kill the stabber.
Later on, she had gradually come into contact with the rest of the world and learned that not everyone was a heartless assassin. Not all parents were that cold to their children.
However, even then, those emotions were a distant thing to her. The only person she trusted in this world was Long Chen.
Today, she experienced this closeness, this unconditional trust from others. She, who had long since forgotten what it felt like for tears to touch her eyes, once more experienced it, but her mental realm was completely different from the last time.
Long Tianxiao and Mrs. Long exchanged a glance, not knowing why Dong Mingyu would suddenly start crying.
“This is just the start. You’ll come to realize that this world has many things that can move you. You’ll find more things to love in this world,” said Long Chen comfortingly.
Although Long Chen had never been an assassin, he had profoundly experienced the emotionless way that assassins viewed life.
It was a kind of extreme brainwashing that wiped out their emotions. The Bloodkill Hall raised every person to be a killing tool.
Dong Mingyu had always suppressed any feelings of hating her current life or longing for a different one. Today, that suppression was lifted.
Dong Mingyu smiled slightly at his words. Although her appearance was still very young, she was beautiful.
After eating, Dong Mingyu gradually grew accustomed to this atmosphere. Although it hadn’t reached the point where she was smiling and talking, at the very least, she wasn’t so tense anymore.
Mrs. Long purely felt that Dong Mingyu was a bit emotional because she must have suffered before. Hence, she began to look after her.
On the other hand, Long Tianxiao saw some clues and didn’t judge her or do anything. He just focused on drinking with his son.
What Long Chen hadn’t expected was that his father would have such shocking talent at making wine. The realm within this wine was not inferior to the disciples of the Wine God Palace.
When he thought about it, he supposed it was understandable. The Wine God Palace’s disciples had their own past lives. The wine they made expressed those pasts.
Long Tianxiao had once been an extremely respected Marquis who led the empire’s army and protected the people. He had also once lived a glorious life.
Now, he had shed his armor and returned to being a commoner. All he had experienced had led him to have a high mental realm. If it weren’t for his limited natural talent, with that kind of comprehension ability, he might have made shocking advancements in cultivation.
After he had a chance to immerse himself in the Wine God Palace, his wine-making arts progressed rapidly.
Long Chen thought back to the past. Perhaps this was all fate. From the day Long Tianxiao accepted Long Chen and raised him as his own child, he and his wife had been fated to be implicated by Long Chen.
It was because of Long Chen that the two of them had been forced to leave their home and all the family they had had. They had sacrificed a great deal. To see them being able to live happily here brought Long Chen joy and relief.
It was a simple meal, but it had been especially sweet to Dong Mingyu. After drinking, Long Xiaoyu immediately wanted to bring this new little big sister of hers to the imperial palace to look at the decorative lanterns.
However, this suggestion was instantly shot down by Mrs. Long, the reason being that Long Xiaoyu had not done even a bit of her homework today. All she thought about was playing.
“Mom, she can be half a day behind in her homework. We have a guest. Xiaoyu is like a host, and to properly treat guests as a host is the right thing for a courteous person.” Long Chen smiled.
“Fine, fine. But remember to make up for it,” said Mrs. Long.
Actually, Mrs. Long wasn’t really going to say no. She just wanted to give Long Xiaoyu a fright and remind her of her homework. A mischievous child couldn’t be given free rein.
“Hehe, big brother is the best! Little big sister, let’s go! Aiya, I almost forgot. Mom, can I have some money to buy some sweets for little big sister?” Any trace of tears of resentment in Long Xiaoyu’s eyes had vanished without a trace. She extended her childish hands at Mrs. Long.
Mrs. Long glared at Long Xiaoyu, between laughter and tears. This child switched from crying to laughter in an instant. After that, Mrs. Long gave her two gold coins and told her that she could buy anything she liked.
In the Grand Xia, the commoners used regular currency. These two golden coins were a significant sum to an ordinary commoner.
Although Mrs. Long was not lacking money, she didn’t want Long Xiaoyu to become entitled. Even if she was a little girl, they had to have some independence.
That was why Mrs. Long had asked the Grand Xia’s royalty to treat Long Xiaoyu as an ordinary child and not let her feel superior to others. The worst case would be if she was decked in lavish and extravagant gifts.
Long Xiaoyu hugged her mother and gave her a kiss. She then ran out while holding Dong Mingyu’s hand. Her laughter rang out from the path, making Long Chen smile. The arrival of Long Xiaoyu had brought his family much merriment.
Long Chen wanted to thank Long Xiaoyu for bringing his family a sense of completion and joy.
“I’ll go tell the imperial bodyguards to look after their safety,” said Long Tianxiao.
Although the High Priest never mentioned anything about Long Chen’s dire straits to Long Tianxiao, ever since their kidnapping in the Eastern Wasteland, Long Tianxiao had become particularly careful not to have any of them used as hostages against Long Chen.
“No need to worry. With her present, no one can threaten their safety,” said Long Chen.
What kind of joke was that? With the Martial Heaven Continent’s number one assassin present, safety was no issue. His father was actually treating Dong Mingyu as a regular child without realizing that she was an existence that terrified countless experts.
This couldn’t be blamed on Long Tianxiao. Dong Mingyu’s face was quite innocent, looking just like a delicate maiden. No one would imagine that she could kill without even blinking. Even when she had revealed her face in front of the Yin Yang World, people still didn’t dare to believe their eyes.
After chatting with his parents for a while, Long Chen learned that his mother was always dissatisfied with how naughty Long Xiaoyu was and how she didn’t properly do her homework. Long Tianxiao had always been a steady figure, but after Long Xiaoyu was born, the two of them were given constant headaches by just how naughty she was. Although Long Chen had been naughty as well, it hadn’t been so exaggerated.
Long Chen smiled. “Xiaoyu is just like me. The only reason I wasn’t so naughty was because I wasn’t qualified.”
When he was just a child, the Long family had been thrown into a tumultuous situation. He had been forced to be a good child to avoid causing more trouble for his family. But now, Long Xiaoyu could cause as much trouble as she wanted. With the Wine God Palace as support, there was no need to suppress her childish nature.
Long Chen even suspected that his character might not have been influenced by the Pill Sovereign’s memories, but due to how hard he had suppressed himself as a child.
After talking with his parents, Long Chen stood and left for the High Priest’s residence. He felt that the High Priest had wanted to tell him something before, but hadn’t had a good chance to say it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter